Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Start Of The Season

My gardening season officially started today with the sowing of my first seeds. I may be a little early with the tomatoes, but decided to have a go anyway. I've got more seeds if they don't germinate. After much deliberation I have decided to grow Tigerella and Gardener's Delight, which are ones I've grown before and always seem to go back to, Whippersnapper and Tangella, which are heritage varieties, and Harbinger, just because I received a free packet of seed. I'm also growing Micro Tomato which I grew last year after my friend, Georgie, sent me some seed. This is the cutest litte tomato plant I have ever seen and produces tomatoes which are smaller than cherry tomatoes. They were the first to produce any fruit last year and were the last to stop, such a hard little worker.

This year I want to make more of an effort with a patch to raise flowers for cutting. I did have a go last year, but with only just getting my allotment, my efforts were mainly concentrated elsewhere. With this in mind I have started by sowing some dahlia's and rudbeckia. I have others to sow at a later date such as zinnia and cosmos.

Other things planted today were leeks, lettuce and sweetpeas. I have decided to try two varieties of leek this year, just really to compare as last years leeks never really bulked up, though they were tasty just the same. I'm growing Musselburgh, which is a well known variety, and Lyon-Prizetaker. The lettuce will be grown in containers in the garden rather than at the allotment to keep the slugs as bay. We don't tend to eat a lot of lettuce so I have chosen Salad Bowl which is a cut and come again lettuce, and Little Gem. The sweetpeas have been sown into toilet roll inners, those very same which my hubby lovingly prepared for me. I'm undecided whether these will be planted at the allotment or in the garden.

It's always so exciting to be starting the new growing season and I hope that the sunshine we've seen here in Leeds today continues so that I can start preparing the allotment for planting out.


  1. It IS exciting to see you getting under way. I'm not at that stage yet, but I'll enjoy following the progress of your seeds.

  2. I've not started yet! I'll be making a determined effort to grow tomatoes this year with The Amateur and Gardener's Delight, both of which were recommended to me by a long time grower. I'll be doing a tomato post sometime soon.
    It seems that having a cut flower patch is something lots of people are doing, and rightly so!
    You must grow some sweet peas on your plot, even if you grow them in the garden as well.
    I've not grown leeks before but may well give them a try this year if I can figure out whereabouts to grow them!
    I don't think that I'll be doing any plotting yet a while as the forecast for here next week is mostly rain and snow!
    Flighty xx

  3. I love sowing seeds I think it is my favourite thing. all that potential in a packet. Brilliant!

  4. So much promise at this time of year with seeds germinating and growing on in every concievable window space in the house! You can't go wrong with Gardener's Delight, I sowed mine on Wednesday so fingers crossed. Best of luck for 2010.

  5. I think you will like the Gardeners delight, we had great success with them while we were there and they are very tasty. I'll be going for a walk soon, I am looking for more signs of spring after the snow.

  6. I love the start of new gardening season; it’s just so full with hope and expectations...
    I’m very interested to see that Micro Tomato how will it grow and how small fruits are. I will be starting my tomatoes this weekend.

  7. wahhhoooo growing season is here (or nearly here for us). we have a veggie patch but have just taken on an allotment so will be growing on a far bigger scale this year - can't wait to watch on learn from all my allotment/growing your own blogs :-)

  8. I put my first ever seeds into soil at the weekend, and it went okayish. I made one cock-up, but that was it (I think).

  9. Boy you have been busy, I finally made it to the plot today, so I'll be blogging about it later.

  10. So you are off to new gardening season. Lets hope everything will be fine, and produce come in bucketful! ~bangchik

  11. Well Jo, you are ahead of me. I think the light levels are just too low here at the moment for seed sowing so I shall be leaving it for at least another couple of weeks. And like Flighty I haven't been able to do anything outside yet - far too wet and cold. Talk about cabin fever! G x

  12. Congratulations on the start of your gardening season, Jo! I did some winter sowing in January. We go home tomorrow after our ski trip, and I'll check if there is any green in those containers.

  13.'ve made a great start Jo..I still need to get stuff done but just don't have the enthusiasm yet....maybe soon...I'm hoping the weather is going to start warming up and the sun is going to show it's face a little more so that I have a little more inclination!!

  14. Sowing those first seeds always raises my spirits. I usually get going in half term week as well but need to buy some cells first hopefully tomorrow :)

  15. You know I enjoy passing them on, yep there is an award for you on my blog.

  16. You've made a great start Jo and are well ahead of me. I hope to get started in the next couple of weeks and hopefully by that time the weather will have picked up to encourage me outside! I will be interested to see how your Micro Tomato fares and I swear by Gardener's Delight - a real little trouper in my opinion!

    Jeanne x

  17. I love this time of year, Linda. It's always exciting at the start of the new growing year.

    I haven't heard of The Amateur before, Flighty. I'll be following your progress with those. I think I will probably grow sweetpeas at home and at the allotment as you suggest. They're so good for cutting. My leeks were a little spindly last year, but they still tasted good, you must give them a try.

    I know what you mean, Allot Of Veg, I love seed sowing too. I still can't believe that those little seeds turn into something so wonderous.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Damo. Gardener's Delight seem to be a popular choice, I've grown them before and they always do well.

    I do love Gardener's Delight, Kat. I have grown them before and they always do well for me too. I hope your snow has disappeared now.

    I will do a post about the Micro Tomatoes, Vrtlarica. I was so surprised last year as I didn't expect them to be quite so small.

    It was my first year with the allotment last year, Scented Sweetpeas. It makes such a difference having a larger space to grow things.

    We all have cock ups, The Idiot Gardener, and we're at the beginning of the season so there's plenty of time to put things right.

    Thank you very much for the award, Kella. It's so nice to know that people enjoy reading my blog. Glad to hear that you managed to get to the allotment. I still haven't done anything this year on mine.

    I do hope we get a good harvest, Bangchik. The start of the season is always full of expectations.

    I haven't been able to do anything outside yet, Georgie. That's why I've started sowing seeds, I have to do something gardening related. I just hope I haven't jumped the gun.

    You always notice a difference when you've been away, Tatyana. I hope the seeds have germinated for you.

    I'm sure you'll have plenty of enthusiasm once the weather warms up a little, Tanya. Later sowings always catch up anyway.

    Hope you've managed to get your cells, Anna. I'm looking forward to finding out what you intend to sow.

    I did my sowing in the kitchen, Jeanne. The weather's still too cold to be doing it outside. I'll be sure to do a post on the Micro Tomato, it performed really well last year and really doesn't take up any space.

  18. Hi Jo,
    It's good to hear you've gotten started already, it gives hope that spring will definitely arrive. We've still got standing snow here, so spring seems far far away. Can't wait to hear about your tomatoes. Also, I like that you recycled the toilet paper rolls for use in the garden. Great idea! Happy gardening.

  19. Sorry to hear that you've still got snow, Avis. There's still parts of the UK with snow but luckily it's gone from Leeds. I'm looking forward to trying the heirloom tomatoes, I've never grown these varieties before but I do like to experiment.

  20. Jo, I love your little propagators. Well done on getting off to such a good start. I have been staying at my son's in Surrey for 4 days (too cold here with no heating) but back in action now, heating as well thankfully! My onion seedlings are doing well. I must get the broad beans going now oh and the sweet-peas.

  21. Glad to hear that you've got your heating sorted out, Maureen. It's no fun having the central heating on the blink in this weather. I have two of the Super 7 propagators, and I find them so useful. They're narrow enough to fit on a windowsill so they don't take up much space.


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